Is your body getting enough rest if you are sleeping for six hours only?

Thinkers and philosophers since times immemorial have established notions about sacrifice. Still, one thing you shouldn’t compromise with is your sleeping habits. Never settle for less with regard to your night-time sleep. But what is ‘less’? Well, more than a fact, the answer to this has been pretty opinionated throughout generations. While seven to eight hours of sleep may sound ideal, trying to cut out on it is a human flaw. 

One very evident reason for reduced sleep or a tendency to compromise sleep duration is the sedentary lifestyle. Apart from that, the work from home routine has given people more freedom to choose not to sleep on time and wake up anytime the next day. By doing this, not only are you affecting your sleep pattern, you are putting your body through more adverse conditions. Timely, undisturbed sleep is the key to a healthy mind and body. Feelings of restlessness and fatigue come significantly from a lack of adequate sleep. 

Six hours of sleep might be enough for adolescents, but is it enough for your infant? Age is a notable factor when it comes to sleep patterns and how they should ideally be. In this article, we will learn: 

  1. Sleep necessities through different ages 
  2. Tips to achieve enough sleep

Let’s begin! 

Sleep necessities through different ages

Various stats and researchers recommend that the sleep needs vary for different age groups (1)

  • Newly born children or infants

You might have noticed your newborn sleeping almost the entire day. Well, do not worry. That is natural. Babies are usually suggested thirteen to seventeen hours of sleep in a day. Ensuring that your baby gets at least 11 hours of sleep a day is mandatory. 

  • Toddlers

Apart from when in playschool or eating, toddlers spend most of their time sleeping. It is appropriate for toddlers to get a minimum of 11-14 hours of sleep a day. Remember, anything more can make them inactive, and anything less can have severe health effects. 

  • Mid-school children

With growing age, the need for sleep definitely diminishes to a great extent. But they might require some time to get used to the grind. So if your children do it for a bit longer, let them. Mid-school children ideally need a minimum of 9 hours of undisturbed sleep. 

  • Teenagers

The peak growth phase would be your teens. Teens usually tend to get distracted with a lot of stuff going on and lose out on sleep. But as teenagers, 8 hours of sleep is a mandate. Compromising with sleep can lead to various issues at school and a lack of interest in other activities. 

  • Adults

Even 18-year-olds are adults, but let us consider 20’s to be the group after teens. Cornering out in sleep is the maximum in this age group. At least 7-9 hours of sleep are suggested for adults up to 60-65. An occasional 6 or 10 hours can be managed, but nothing less or beyond that is suitable. 

  • Older adults

Older adults have their immunity optimized. Hence, any amount of sleep above 6 hours is adequate for them. Older adults wouldn’t usually want to sleep more than 8 hours unless very sick. Excessive sleeping might indicate some underlying condition in older people. 

Tips to achieve healthy sleeping habits

  1. Abstain from napping during the day

Most people believe that they are optimizing their sleep pattern by taking daytime naps. The sad part here is, it works the opposite way. Once you take a rest amidst the day, your bodily need for sleep at night gets reduced. In other words, you don’t feel tired enough at night to fall asleep. Thus whenever you feel like napping during the day, do some activity. 

  1. Limit caffeine, alcohol, and similar substances

Several studies indicate a direct link between caffeine , i.e. coffee or alcohol intake with interrupted sleep cycles (2). Limiting coffee and alcohol can help you fall into a proper sleep routine (3)

  1. Manage stress

As much as possible, try keeping your mind aloof of your worries during bedtime. Most people suffer from a long duration of pre-sleep time. That is, it is difficult for them to achieve sound sleep quickly and maintain good sleeping habits. One main reason for this is stress and overthinking. Practice jotting down your thoughts before bedtime and set them aside for the next day. 

  1. Limit your gadget usage

Poor and uninterrupted sleep is a significant result of excessive cell phone or gadget use. Many studies also suggest that subjection to bright light before bedtime can be detrimental to your sleeping habits (4)

  1. Create a soothing surrounding

Being excited can cause you not to feel sleepy. For instance, having an extensive program the next day can cause you to have interrupted sleep. Thus, creating a soothing and pleasing ambiance and mood can help you sleep in peace. There are many ways to achieve such an atmosphere; the most common technique is playing slow music that you love (5)

Wrapping Up

Sleep needs are not fixed for any population; it varies per person. It also depends on several physical and mental factors leaving aside the involuntary ones. However, for adults, 6 hours of sleep is considered the minimum. Beyond 6 hours and within 9 hours wouldn’t cause any harm, but anything more or less can be of concern (6)

Thus creating proper routines, eating healthy, and managing stress can help you achieve the peace of mind you need for an uninterrupted night’s sleep. 

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